October 12th – Seaton, Devon and the Lizard, Cornwall   Leave a comment

Rather than leave very early on the 13th to get the Scillonian I opted to drive to Penzance on the 12th and stay overnight.

On route I stopped at Seaton marshes in East Devon. This site has been recently improved with several new hides overlooking the estuary and a freshwater lagoon. Yesterday I could have seen Pectoral Sandpiper and Spotted Crake here but today both had gone. After an hour and a half I decided to cut my losses and head for Cornwall.



Seaton Marshes reserve is unusual in that a tourist tram line runs between the hide and the estuary.



I went straight to the Lizard Peninsula. My main target was the Chough, a bird that has recently recolonized this part of Cornwall. DNA studies have shown that these birds originated in Ireland, not France as was originally presumed. However I first went to Church Cove where a vagrant Paddyfield Warbler had been found. The bird showed well, if briefly. This is only the second time I have seen this species in the UK, the first being as recent as this winter.


Church Cove, the Lizard, site of the Paddyfield Warbler.

At the car park at Kynance Cove, as well as stunning scenery, I found two Choughs, although they both flew before I could even get my camera out of the bag. The other good bird that had recently been in the area was an Ortolan Bunting in a stubble field near Lizard Point. I found that there had been no sign of the bird today, so I carried on to the Point, the most southerly point on the British mainland. Here I had another five Choughs in flight but the weather was turning wet so I headed for the café. Unlike the earlier showers this time the rain looked set in, so I had no option but to walk the mile or so back to the car, getting soaked in the progress.

Kynance Cove.



Lizard Point. At 49 55 N it is the most southerly point of the British mainland and is on the same latitude as Newfoundland, northern Mongolia or Sakhalin Island in Siberia.

Choughs have long been part of Cornish folk law and appears on pub signs and the county Coat of Arms. The spirit of King Arthur was said to have been transformed into a Chough.The last breeding in Cornwall was in 1947 but in 2001 birds from the Irish population returned to breed and have continued to do to this day.


The Red-billed Choughs at the Lizard, (to give them their proper name) has become quite a tourist attraction and is of great cultural significance to Cornish people. Photo from the Internet.



The heavy downpour was over when I reached Penzance.


Penzance harbour





Posted October 22, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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